Mount Hope Baptist Church was organized October 8, 1898 by Rev. Daniel Washington. The church was situated in a brush arbor just a few yards from its present site, at what was then known as Mine and Gordon Roads. The church began with a very small membership. On October 14, 1899, over two acres of land were purchased. The building of Mount Hope Baptist Church commenced soon after.
Rev. Washington was called to another field of work and the Rev. William Jackson succeeded him. Under his leadership, the building of the church was completed and the membership continued to grow. With commitment, determination, faith, prayers and sacrifices of the members, additional land was purchased.
Rev. Jackson served over 25 years before he resigned. The Rev. William Henry Waller was called to preach. Under his leadership, the choir was organized and the pastor’s study was added to the church structure. After four years of devoted service, Rev. Waller was called to Pastor in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
In 1936, Rev. Lloyd Watts of Washington, DC was called to preach. He served the congregation for a short while. Mount Hope joined the Spotsylvania Sunday School Union in 1939.
On January 10, 1940, the Rev. Robert Patterson Gainey came to Mount Hope. Soon, he was called to pastor at Corinth Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Again the church was without a pastor. However, for the next two years, Mount Hope was blessed to have been led by the Rev. Thomas Ross, a strong and outstanding member of the church. He always said he was ready, and willing to assist in any way for the uplifting of God’s Kingdom.
In 1942, Rev. T. Alexander Crawford, pastor of the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, began co-pastoring at Mount Hope. In 1943, he was called to pastor the church.
In 1945, Mrs. Crawford organized a women’s chorus, the vestibule and steeple were added and the membership greatly increased. In 1946, Rev. Crawford resigned to accept a pastoral position in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Again, Rev. Thomas Ross supported the church as acting pastor. During his tenure, the dedicated congregation struggled with rallies, programs and pledges to build a basement to the church.
In August 1948, the Rev. Marshall Robinson of Washington, DC came to the church. A month later, at the annual September revival service, the church’s main auditorium collapsed. While repairs were being made, services were held in Diggs School, which was across the road from the church. In October 1948, Rev. Robinson became pastor of Mount Hope. He strengthened the growth of the church with the organization of the Willing Workers, Ever Ready and Ushers Clubs. Again, the hard working members began rebuilding the church, and received contributions from other churches and organizations. The Willing Workers Club had carpet installed. In 1957, Rev. Robinson resigned due to failing health.
1959 - Rev. Webster D. Christmas
On April 10, 1959, the Rev. Webster D. Christmas was installed as pastor. During his pastorship, many improvements were made to the church. They included: the addition of two utility rooms, two restrooms, a choir room and a pastor’s study; installation of new carpet, a water system and a kitchen; and painting the church. On March 10, 1985, Rev. Christmas became the pastor emeritus when he resigned as pastor of Mount Hope Baptist Church after twenty-six years of dedicated and devoted service to the church.
1986 - Dr. Raymond A. Bell Jr.
For over a year, guest ministers rendered services at the church. On September 29, 1986, the Rev. Raymond Asaph Bell, Jr. was installed as the eighth pastor of Mount Hope Baptist Church. Under his leadership, and by the grace of God, the membership has grown tremendously. Mount Hope now has a 7:45 AM and 9:45 AM Sunday morning worship services weekly morning and evening Bible Studies for adults, young adults, and youth, and prayer service.
With the Board of Education, Pastor Bell has led the church in the development and implementation of a broad range of Christian education programs designed to meet the spiritual, instructional, recreational and fellowship needs of the men, women and children of Mount Hope Baptist Church.
2011 - Mortgage Burning
Under Pastor Bell’s guidance, the historical church was renovated, the kitchen and choir loft were remodeled, a baptismal pool was installed, and additional land was purchased. Because of continuous growth in membership, the Lord empowered Mount Hope to construct new church facilities that include a 500-seat sanctuary, classrooms, a computer room, office space, a full-time education academy, a multi-purpose room, and a large paved parking lot. The mortgage for this construction was burned on October 9, 2011.
Pastor Bell oversees many different ministries that actively involve disciples at Mount Hope. As we continue to grow, we pray that God will continue to bless us!